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Washington, D. C. 20240
March 26, 2009
In Reply Refer To:
4100, 4130 (220) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2009-099
Expires: 09/30/2010
To:                   All Field Officials
From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject:           Grazing Permit and Lease Renewal In Accordance With Public Law 111-8
Program Area: Grazing Administration
Policy/Action: All field officials are directed to renew grazing permits and leases (permits) that expire between March 13, 2009 and September 30, 2009 (inclusive) and which will not be fully processed before they expire, in accordance with Section 426 of Title IV of Division E of Public Law 111-8 (Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009). This Act amends Section 325, Title III, Public Law 108-108 (Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004) by extending the end date of the provisional language through September, 2009. The text of Section 426 reads as follows:  Section 325 of Public Law 108-108 is amended by striking "fiscal years 2004-2008" and inserting "fiscal year 2009."
Grazing permits issued in accordance with the provisions of this Act are to be issued for a term of ten years unless as otherwise provided in the grazing regulations at 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 4130.2(d). Continue to identify permits renewed under this authority in the Rangeland Administration System (RAS) as Appropriations Act permits, Code P.
The following condition should be included on grazing permits that are renewed in accordance with the above paragraph:
"This permit or lease is issued under the authority of Section 426, Public Law 111-8 and contains the same mandatory terms and conditions as the expired or transferred permit or lease. This permit or lease may be canceled, suspended, or modified, in whole or in part to meet the requirements of applicable laws and regulations."
 Timeframe: This policy is effective immediately.
Budget Impact: No budget impacts are expected.
Background: As a result of several decisions issued by the Office of Hearings and Appeals, the BLM issued considerable guidance in 1999 and 2000, which established policy and processes for renewing grazing permits and leases.  At the same time, a "spike" in permit expirations in 1999 and 2000 occurred, which resulted in a backlog of expired permits that needed to have these processes completed. The guidance for renewing permits has been strongly linked to completing evaluations of land health standards.
Since Fiscal Year (FY) 1999, in order to avoid disruption to livestock grazing operations dependent on public land permits, Congress has legislated a provision to continue authorizing livestock grazing while the BLM analyzes environmental effects and completes appropriate consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
Congress recently enacted the Omnibus Appropriations Act, P.L. 111-8, which provides that Section 325, Title III, Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004 (P.L. 108-108) continues in effect through September 30, 2009. Section 325 states:
SEC. 325. A grazing permit or lease issued by the Secretary of the Interior or a grazing permit issued by the Secretary of Agriculture where National Forest System lands are involved that expires, is transferred, or waived during fiscal years 2004-2008 shall be renewed under section 402 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1752), section 19 of the Granger-Thye Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 5801), title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act (7 U.S.C. 1010 et seq.), or, if applicable, section 510 of the California Desert Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 410aaa-50).  The terms and conditions contained in the expired, transferred, or waived permit or lease shall continue in effect under the renewed permit or lease until such time as the Secretary of the Interior or Secretary of Agriculture as appropriate completes processing of such permit or lease in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, at which time such permit or lease may be canceled, suspended or modified, in whole or in part, to meet the requirements of such applicable laws and regulations. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to alter the statutory authority of the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture:  Provided, That where National Forest System lands are involved and the Secretary of Agriculture has renewed an expired or waived grazing permit prior to fiscal year 2004, the terms and conditions of the renewed grazing permit shall remain in effect until such time as the Secretary of Agriculture completes processing of the renewed permit in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations or until the expiration of the renewed permit, whichever comes first.  Upon completion of the processing, the permit may be canceled, suspended or modified, in whole or in part, to meet the requirements of applicable laws and regulations:  Provided further, That beginning in November 2004, and every year thereafter, the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture shall report to Congress the extent to which they are completing analysis required under applicable laws prior to the expiration of grazing permits, and beginning in May 2004, and every two years thereafter, the Secretaries shall provide Congress recommendations for legislative provisions necessary to ensure all permit renewals are completed in a timely manner.  The legislative recommendations provided shall be consistent with the funding levels requested in the Secretaries' budget proposals:  Provided further, That notwithstanding section 504 of the Rescissions Act (109 Stat. 212), the Secretaries in their sole discretion determine the priority and timing for completing required environmental analysis of grazing allotments based on the environmental significance of the allotments and funding available to the Secretaries for this purpose: Provided further, That any Federal lands included within the boundary of Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, as designated by the Secretary of the Interior on April 5, 1990 (Lake Roosevelt Cooperative Management Agreement), that were utilized as of March 31, 1997, for grazing purposes pursuant to a permit issued by the National Park Service, the person or persons so utilizing such lands as of March 31, 1997, shall be entitled to renew said permit under such terms and conditions as the Secretary may prescribe, for the lifetime of the permittee or 20 years, whichever is less.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  No Manual Sections or Handbooks are affected.
Coordination: No coordination outside the Division is necessary.
Contact: If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact Richard Mayberry at (202) 452-7750 or Robert Bolton at (202) 452-7792.
Signed by:                                                                  Authenticated by:
Edwin L. Roberson                                                      Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                       Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning

Last updated: 10-20-2009